Free State Project Forum

New Hampshire -- The "Live Free or Die" State => NH Jobs => Topic started by: Mike Lorrey on July 27, 2003, 11:16:51 pm

Title: ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Mike Lorrey on July 27, 2003, 11:16:51 pm
Well to be fair, WY does have a lot more land area.  According to the  forestry service (http://www.fs.fed.us/ne/fia/states/main.html) for the northeast, New Hampshire is 84% forest, with 4,824 thousand acres.

According to the stats for the  interior west (http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/ogden/state_reports/state_reports.html), Wyoming is 15.9% with 9.8 MM Acres.  This last inventory was 20 years ago though, so I don't know how it would be today.  NH's last inventory was 5 years ago.

But the IMPORTANT points from the reports:

Ninety three percent of New Hampshire's forest land, 4,508.6 thousand acres, is classified as timberland (formerly known as commercial forest land).
Eighty percent of New Hampshire's timberland is privately owned.

Wyoming has about 9.8 million acres of forest land, 9.1 million of it timberland. Over three-fourths is on public land, principally in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and seven National Forests.

As we've said, most Wyoming forests are federally owned, and they just ARE NOT SELLING.

Contrarily, NH forest land IS FOR SALE. In fact, MeadWestvaco, the largest timberland owner in NH, has put ALL of it's NH and Maine timberlands up for sale, about 650,000 acres. Now, much of that acrage is in Maine.

They want to sell it all in one lump sum. I've contacted the VP at MWV about this sale and they'd like to sell it all to one party.  Approximate deal value is about $50-60 million (my estimate). My thinking is that once the election happens and NH wins, we get the membership to form a corporation, pooling funds to buy this whole portfolio of property. Once bought, we sell of by parcel all the Maine holdings. Being sold as smaller parcels, we should generate more per acre for them, perhaps enough to entirely recoupe the initial investment.  Once the initial investment is paid back, the partners all divvy up the NH lands as profit and the corporation gets dissolved.

I call this The Galt's Gulch Project..... who wants in???

Anyone interested in forming this corporation, please email me. If NH wins the FSP election, we will form the Galt's Gulch Corporation, seeking to attract investment from FSP members, friends, and other supporters for the purposes of ensuring that there is enough affordable land in NH for the 20,000 FSP members to buy and live on when they move here.

Mike Lorrey
mlorrey@yahoo.com
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Mike Lorrey on July 29, 2003, 04:11:43 pm
We have formed a Yahoogroup called galtsgulch to organize this project. Those interested should locate the galtsgulch group in Yahoogroups or email to:

galtsgulch-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

All interested parties should email me with name, mailing address, member number, and, optionally, a rough estimate of what amounts you might forsee investing in such a venture.

For more details, join the group and get caught up on the message traffic. We are taking nominations for the board of directors, resumes for corporate officers, and are actively seeking out angel investors among the membership.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: rdeacon on August 07, 2003, 12:37:35 am
At a price of $50 million this would run approximately $2,500 per member if all of the first 20,000 members contributed.  We'd need to get some serious money on board in order for this to work out.  I'm not sure the economic makeup of FSP members, but we'd need some pretty rich people.

However, the math of this idea sounds pretty good otherwise.  The smaller parcels are sure to profit.  I could imagine a 125-150% ROI.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Mike Lorrey on August 11, 2003, 12:00:50 am
Quite so, Radar, if you keep it up I'll have to ban you from the discussion.

I have also put up a poll among existing members of the galts gulch list whether they want to keep it a NH project or look for similar opportunities elsewhere if another state is picked. So far, 77% of the members support exploring similar options in whatever state is picked.

I'm not too worried, though, considering that Governor Benson just signed on as a 'friend' and we (NH FSP proponents) just sent out a promo mailer to 20,000 Massachusetts libertarians, and nearly 1000 Connecticut Libertarians, that has shot FSP membership through the roof. I think our odds have gone way up.

To answer earlier questions, we plan on raising between $5-20 million from the members, which will be used to leverage financing for the whole purchase. If all goes according to plan, member investors will not only get their initial investment back in whole, but will profit by between 2-10 acres, on average.

Granted, it would all go very easily if we could recruit a few 'angel' investors to make large 'keystone' investments in the project that would give it the credibility to attract smaller investors. Once I get the business plan put together, we will see about seeking out such people.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: LeopardPM on August 11, 2003, 12:58:09 am
very interested in the business plan Mike - it sounds good in theory (selling off the Maine portions to pay for the remaining, which I have done in the past, but, the property being sold has to have a market value large enough to do so - what research has been done along these lines?  If none, then its only a dream... the costs of rezoning or otherwise improving the property may overload the initial investors ability to cough up the require funds.  Plus, if the property takes 2-10 years to sell - thats a bunch of property taxes due.... hate that!


michael
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Mike Lorrey on August 11, 2003, 01:07:48 am
Most all of the land is in unorganized areas, generally entire townships owned by the company and having nothing but logging roads and a few hunting camps in them. I know for a fact that hunters that already have cabin leases there would LOVE to buy large tracts around their cabins if they could.
There is no zoning in such areas.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Mike Lorrey on August 11, 2003, 01:08:51 am
Also, property taxes I have researched, and in these areas they are less than 1% annually.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Mike Lorrey on August 11, 2003, 01:10:30 am
Additionally, there is already a big market among the big city rich for what are nicknamed 'kingdoms' in northern Maine. Prices are high but not too high to desist the demand.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: LeopardPM on August 11, 2003, 01:11:40 am
Entire townships? incorporated or chartered?  very interesting... what about infrastructure - you mentioned dirt roads - how about buildings, sewage, electricity, etc? can I find any info about the property or area on the web?

thanks for replying so quickly, Mike!

yours,
michael
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: LeopardPM on August 11, 2003, 01:17:33 am
Mike, why is my membership stil pending?  Nice picture on the Galts Gultch yahoo group BTW - is that lake included in the property?

n e e d   m o r e   i n f o   p l e a s e !

you struck my curious bone


michael
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Mike Lorrey on August 11, 2003, 08:47:32 am
The picture is actually by my cousin, a geologist, who is studying climatology in New Zealand. This is a picture from one of his fishing trips there.
I didn't have any pictures handy from any of the properties, and I though this one really depicted the concept of the Gulch really well. I can dig up some from the actual properties if you like. I should probably do that anyways.
I just approved your membership. You didn't miss any new posts. I was a bit busy last night (and tired as well) after a busy week.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Mike Lorrey on August 11, 2003, 09:03:11 am
There are already some photos online from the unorganized township of Dix's Grant, in NH. Trevor Snyder's photo series containes a number of photos by Tony Stelik that he took on a trip with me to the Grant.

Dix's Grant is about 15,000 acres, rather small for a township, but it is all wilderness, with about 15 or so hunting cabins and probably about 40-50 miles of dirt/hardpack gravel roads.

Another entire township in NH is called Success. I've never been there myself, but I hear it is very similar to Dix's Grant. I think a photo trip is in the offing.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Mike Lorrey on August 11, 2003, 09:10:24 am
Entire townships? incorporated or chartered?  very interesting... what about infrastructure - you mentioned dirt roads - how about buildings, sewage, electricity, etc? can I find any info about the property or area on the web?

When I say unorganized, I mean that they are unicorporated townships with no residents, simply township sized sqares on the map that are entirely owned by the timber company. There are some hunting cabins. No sewage, no electricity, no nuthin. Roads covering areas useful to logging, bridges and culverts. You get your water from a stream or well, and you have leach fields for indoor toilets or you use an outhouse.

While there used to be whole logging camps back in the day (1930's), what remains are a few isolated cabins sold to hunters.

MeadWestVaco has not listed individual properties as of yet. Once we've organized as a corporation, I will approach them and seek further information about the entire portfolio. Until then, it would be unwise to contact them separately, as they only want to deal with someone who can buy their whole NH/Maine portfolio.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: LeopardPM on August 11, 2003, 07:37:17 pm
I would not contact anyone seperately... I am only interested in exactly what the project is considering buying
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Mike Lorrey on August 12, 2003, 08:22:45 am
Certainly. Before we can look at the goodies, we've got to come to the table as a real player. "Qualified buyers" is the term used, which means we have to be able to at least put up a front that we are capable of making the purchase before reviewing the property and entering into negotiations.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Sardonicous on September 01, 2003, 05:14:59 pm
Even though I favor WY If NH wins I will be investing in it.

It would appear that "buying in bulk" is the best way to buy land.(i e least dollar per square footage. I might be interested in hooking up with your group in NH wins.

However I hope WY wins because I see better "value" there.

Hell, maby I'll end up investing in both.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Elwar on September 09, 2003, 11:57:57 am
Was just wondering if this investment would be available to those
who are not FSP members as of yet.

Running for office next year, it would kinda make things a bit more
difficult if I was in a project where I'd be moving out of my state.

But I am interested in this project as an investment and who knows
what the future brings.

I've sent a request to the Yahoo forum but perhaps because I have
no member number I was not accepted.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Mike Lorrey on September 09, 2003, 12:06:26 pm
As conceived, GGP is an FSP member-only project. Furthermore, in order to comply with SEC regs, all requests for membership must include the persons real name, and a mailing address/address of record. An online discussion is more than just a chat or face to face informal discussion. For evidentiary purposes, they are official records of pre-incorporation planning and as such all parties involved must be clearly identified or identifiable. Oh, and parties must be of age.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Elwar on September 09, 2003, 03:08:28 pm
Completely understandable. Hopefully after next November I'll be a member
and can invest or else I'll be a state senator. Either way I'll be contributing
to a freer future.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Top Dollar on September 09, 2003, 05:07:26 pm
It seems like it would be wise to accept capital from any friendly source.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Mike Lorrey on September 09, 2003, 05:24:08 pm
The whole point of the GGP is to dissolve the corporation at some point, delivering a return on investment and surplus land to the stockholders. Why do we want to do this? To make land inexpensive for FSP members, who would be investors. Doing this would make the cost of migration much smaller than compared to doing so without the GGP.

If the GGP were open to anybody, the the whole purpose would be defeated.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Delaware2 on September 10, 2003, 06:41:22 pm
Very Intriguing.  Very Big.  Like everyone else, I want to know more.  How much of the land is in Maine and how much in New Hampshire?  I've got to locate this on the map to see if it is close to anything.  

Unfortunately I can not join the Yahoogroups, so I will continue to glean my info from this FSP site.

Checking on MeadWestvacos last sale, it looks like Mike has a good estimate of the likely going price of $50Mil.

http://dayton.bizjournals.com/dayton/stories/2002/12/09/daily38.html
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Delaware2 on September 10, 2003, 08:09:05 pm
O.K., I think I have a pretty good idea from the limited resolution the Encarta site affords.  It's in Coos County, the NH part of the land .  The county has a border with Canada.  Voulez-vous vendre vos produits auz Canadiens?

Major town would be Berlin, down Rte 16. (That's BER'-lin, not ber-LIN').   The rather large "Balsams" resort hotel could be a source of employment for some.  If you remember the movie "Hotel New Hampshire" from the late '80's and Jody Foster's hot bedroom scene with Rob Loew, that's the place.  

What else could one do for a living in that rugged wilderness?  Host/lease hunting, mountaineering, cross country skiing.
Harvest prime spruce trees for aircraft and sailboat spars.
Raise chickens and sell eggs.  Repair snowmobiles.  Give courses in orienteering, since lots of folks will be getting lost trying to find their plot of land.

One would have to get to work early building trails and roads, I guess.  Log cabins would be a natural choice, with the difficulty of transporting expensive building materials over no roads contrasted to the ready availability of trees.  
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: DadELK68 on September 10, 2003, 08:41:14 pm
Remember, one of the possibilities was that ownership of a parcel of this land doesn't mean you have to live on it - your primary residence might be Derry, Londonderry, New London, Newcastle, wherever, and you could have a vacation home, hunting cabin/camp, or simply just a plot of land in the North Woods to call your own.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Mike Lorrey on September 11, 2003, 01:43:28 pm
All excellent points. Berlin's primary individual employers at the current time are the paper mills and the state prison, beyond this, tourism is big business and there are a number of auto dealers on the strip between Berlin and Gorham that advertise all over new england because they have cheap overhead and can offer low car prices.

There are a number of ski areas in the area: Attitash, The Balsams, Cannon Mt., Loon, Waterville Valley, Wildcat, as well as Sunday River and Sugarloaf over the border in Maine and several others over the border in Vermont. There are world class golf areas, tons of hiking trails, rock climbing galore.

The Androscoggin River and Lake Umbagog in the east and the Connecticutt Lakes in the west offer lots of water sports opportunities. There is whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoing, waterskiing, as well as fishing of all sorts.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Delaware2 on September 12, 2003, 05:07:27 pm
The idea of incorporating for the purpose of ending the corporation and dividing the land among member-investors is a good one.

Two problems:  Initial investors, large and small, will want to see the articles of incorporation include bailout clauses protecting their cash in the event the purchase dollar amount is not met.

Then the division of the land will be an issue.  Some land parcels will be more desirable than others, so dividing along a fixed dollar-per-acre formula will leave some dissatisfied investors.  So the free market has to find a way within the corporation as well.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Mike Lorrey on September 12, 2003, 05:24:55 pm
These are all excellent points.  I was expecting a type of Condorcet system, where each person can rank 1 through 'n' their preferred parcels. This is a common lottery system. It's how we apportion moose hunting permits here in NH: you rank your preferences of the 30 odd areas of the state when you submit your application. It may not make everyone equally happy, but it makes the most happiness for the most people.

Of course, since some people will invest more than others, it will have to be a bit more complex than this. One idea I have is to have three or four parcel sizes, and to allow individual to place both positive and negative weight to various parcels. A good explaination of this system is described in Neil Stephenson's novel "Cryptonomicon", in the chapter where Randy Waterhouse, the main character, is in eastern Washington state with his girlfriend, presiding over the dispersal of his grandmother's property to the various members of the family when she is put in a retirement home. His family is all mathematicians, so they came up with this system.

I'm gonna have to use my contacts to get in touch with Neil to find out the specific mathematics of figuring all this stuff out.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Delaware2 on September 12, 2003, 06:48:48 pm
I'm thinking more of a bid system.  Once an investor has figured out the number of acres his investment would buy:

Acres = investment * ( 650,000 acres/ Purchase Price)

He will want his acreage in a certain spot or spots.  The most scenic spots, the sites closest to roads and towns, those on waterfronts, will be desired by others.  

Now the investors  bid for the desired parcel, by factoring down the number of acres they demand--the same as raising the price per acre for the desired spot.  High bidder wins, AND by taking a smaller parcel makes it more likely that another investor can have a similar site next door, or on the next mountaintop, or the next lake.

Those who insist on the best spots pay for them by accepting a proportionally smaller parcel for same money.  It's a free market because if someone wanted it more, he could have bid a higher price per acre.  Those who are content with less accessible parcels in the interior of the wilderness get the full value  of their dollar with larger tracts of land, on an acres per dollar basis.  Those who focus primarily on acres per dollar might want to bid on the least desirable land.  For example, a steep hillside might be something that is not valued because it is difficult to build on and unsuitable for fields or grazing.  It still has a value at a much lower price per acre.

Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Mike Lorrey on September 12, 2003, 07:21:40 pm
Sure, but if you just auction off every parcel, you either need to run auctions one at a time, or else you have a problem with people winning auctions and not having the cash to pay for them cause they won other auctions. The system I describe prevents this from occuring while still acting as an auction.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Elwar on October 09, 2003, 03:48:12 pm
Just curious if this project is going ahead now that New Hampshire has been chosen.
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: LeopardPM on October 09, 2003, 07:28:55 pm
i expect so
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: alecmuller on October 09, 2003, 10:04:21 pm
I live in Maine and I read in a local paper a week or so ago that they sold this particular set of holdings to an unknown buyer.  I'm sure there will be other large parcels out there, though (although maybe not hundreds of thousands of acres).
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: LeopardPM on October 09, 2003, 10:23:47 pm
that is true, it was sold
Title: Re:ATTN: Galt's Gulch Project Announced
Post by: Mike Lorrey on October 13, 2003, 12:29:19 am
Current Status: the MeadWestvaco lands that were for sale have been sold to an anonymous group of investors and is being managed by Wagner Forest Management, located in Lyme, NH, just up the road from me. I will be contacting them to see if any of their NH properties are for sale and whether we can do a mass purchase at a lower cost per acre than small parcels, but the original concept is now dead. Y'all sat on your tushes too long.